How To Support Your CPAs With Ongoing CPE

Posted by BeaconLive

What is CPE for CPAs?

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is essential for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to maintain their professional competence, maintain their CPA license, and to provide high-quality financial services. 


Educational requirements vary by state and the type of practice, but it’s important to note that as an accounting professional, CPAs need to undergo continual educational courses. It involves various activities to develop and enhance professional skills, such as attending relevant self-study courses, ethics courses, and on-demand webcasts.


For CPAs, CPE is not just a regulatory requirement but a practical necessity based on stringent industry standards. This means accounting agencies and companies of all sizes need a way to track CPE credits for CPAs and other accounting professionals easily. 


The accounting field constantly evolves with new regulations, technologies, and financial practices. Staying updated through CPE helps CPAs navigate these changes effectively, ensuring they can provide accurate and up-to-date advice to clients.



Why Is CPE Important For CPAs?

As a manager at an accounting firm, ensuring that your CPAs meet their CPE requirements is crucial. Not only does it ensure compliance with professional standards, but it also contributes to the overall quality of your firm's services. 


Let’s look at why CPE is necessary for your CPAs and see how you can help your CPAs fulfill their CPE requirements.


CPE Aids In Skill Development

CPE is essential for skill enhancement and expanding a CPA’s knowledge base. By offering CPE credits, you can help your CPAs dive deeper into particular accounting areas or even explore new ones. 


This not only boosts the professional competence of your team but also creates opportunities for career advancement and specialization, thereby increasing your firm's overall service quality and reputation.


CPE Helps CPAs Stay Updated

For accounting firm managers, offering CPE standards for accounting is a strategic investment in your firm. In a field characterized by frequent regulatory changes and technological advancements, CPE ensures that your CPAs stay informed about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices. 


This enhances their professional competence and ensures that your firm's services are up-to-date, accurate, and compliant with current standards to help you increase client trust and satisfaction.


CPAs Need To Fulfill CPE Requirements

Many people get confused between CPE vs CPD for accounting professionals, but it’s important to note that CPAs need to fulfill their CPE requirements to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining high professional standards. 


For accounting firm managers, encouraging and facilitating CPE opportunities for your CPAs signals your firm's dedication to quality and professionalism. 


CPE Helps CPAs Remain Competitive

In the dynamic accounting world, CPE is crucial to ensuring CPAs remain competitive. CPAs can provide clients with valuable, innovative, and timely advice by continually updating their knowledge and skills through CPE webinars and other online courses.


For accounting firm managers, facilitating CPE signifies a commitment to quality and professional growth. This can enhance the firm's reputation, attract high-caliber talent, and ultimately increase client satisfaction and business success.


By now you can see that CPE is necessary for CPAs. Many companies wonder how to offer continuing education credits for their CPAs, so let’s take a look at the different types of CPE requirements for different types of accounting professionals. 


CPE for Auditing and Taxation

As we discussed, CPE is vital for any CPA but particularly critical for CPAs specializing in auditing and taxation. These areas are highly regulated and subject to frequent legislative changes and court rulings, requiring CPAs to stay updated to offer accurate and compliant advice.


For auditing, CPE courses may cover audit standards, risk assessment, internal control systems, and ethical considerations. For taxation, CPE could focus on federal tax law, state tax updates, tax planning strategies, and the implications of new tax regulations.


Most professional accounting bodies have specific CPE requirements for these specialized areas. For instance, many require a particular portion of CPE credits to be earned in subjects directly related to the CPA's field of practice. 


Supporting your team in meeting these requirements ensures regulatory compliance and enhances the quality of your firm's auditing and tax services, leading to increased client trust and satisfaction.


NASBA-approved CPE courses

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) approval is a mark of quality for CPE courses. NASBA-approved courses adhere to nationally recognized standards, ensuring high-quality content and delivery. 


For accounting firm managers, choosing NASBA-approved CPE courses assures their CPAs receive a relevant, high-quality education that will enhance their professional competence and fulfill their CPE requirements, ultimately contributing to the firm's success.


AICPA requirements for CPE

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has established specific guidelines for CPE to ensure its members maintain their professional competence. AICPA members are required to earn a set number of CPE credits over a defined period, typically every year or every three years. 


The required credit hours should cover various topics pertinent to the accountant's practice area. As a manager, understanding these requirements can help you support your CPAs in fulfilling their CPE obligations effectively.


How To Offer CPE Courses To Your CPAs

Providing CPE courses to CPAs is crucial for their professional development and licensure. 


These courses can cover various topics for CPAs, including technical accounting updates, regulatory changes, emerging technologies, and specialized industry knowledge. 


Accounting firms can effectively deliver these courses by employing diverse methods, such as in-house training, live webinars, collaborations with professional organizations, and leveraging e-learning platforms. 


Webinars & Online Courses

By incorporating webinars and online courses into their CPE strategy, managers can ensure their CPAs can access the most current information and earn CPE credits at their convenience, enhancing their professional development.


In-House Training

In-house training is an effective way for accounting firms to deliver CPE courses tailored to their needs. 


Additionally, in-house training promotes team cohesion and shared understanding. CPAs learn together and can directly apply their knowledge to their daily work, helping them meet their CPE credit requirements efficiently.


Industry Conferences & Seminars

Industry conferences and seminars offer a valuable opportunity for accounting firms to support their CPAs in meeting their CPE requirements. 


These events often include educational sessions led by industry experts, offering the latest insights on various topics relevant to accounting professionals' needs. 


By encouraging and facilitating their CPAs' participation in such events, accounting firm managers can ensure their team stays updated on industry trends, enhances their professional skills, and earns CPE credits simultaneously.


Collaborate With Other Organizations

Collaboration efforts with other organizations can be an effective way for accounting firms to help their CPAs meet CPE requirements. By partnering with universities, professional associations, or specialized training providers, firms can access various CPE programs tailored to their needs. 


These collaborations offer quality education and networking opportunities, fostering a learning environment that supports continuous professional development and enhances the firm's overall service quality.


External Training Programs

Accounting firms can leverage external training programs as a valuable resource to assist their CPAs in meeting their CPE credit requirements. These programs offer various courses and seminars to cover various accounting topics and satisfy specific CPE criteria. 


By partnering with reputable external training providers, accounting firms can offer their CPAs access to quality education and training opportunities, ensuring they stay current and meet their CPE obligations. 


External training programs provide a convenient and efficient way for firms to support their CPAs' professional development and enhance their skills and knowledge in a structured and accredited manner.


Take The First Step Toward Boosted Skills With CPE For CPAs

CPE is crucial for CPAs looking to keep their skills sharp and stay abreast of industry changes. By regularly investing in high-quality CPE courses, CPAs can ensure they remain competitive and deliver the best service to their clients and organizations.


Ready to take your firm's CPE management to the next level? Discover how BeaconLive's comprehensive solutions can simplify tracking, management, and facilitation of CPE for your CPAs. 


Talk with our experts to learn how you can unlock the full potential of your accounting team with BeaconLive today!


Topics: Accounting, Certificates, Continuing Education, Professional Development

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What is CPE and why is it important for CPAs?

CPE stands for Continuing Professional Education. It is crucial for CPAs to stay updated with industry knowledge and skills to maintain their professional competence.

How many CPE hours do CPAs need to complete?

The number of CPE hours required varies by jurisdiction. In general, CPAs need to complete a certain number of hours annually or within a specified period to fulfill licensing requirements.

What are the different ways CPAs can earn CPE credits?

CPAs can earn CPE credits through various activities such as attending conferences, seminars, webinars, completing self-study courses, teaching or presenting, and participating in professional committees or associations.